Mike Lombardi on K&C: Tom Brady will 'play under control' in return from suspension

October 07, 2016 - 6:18 am

[caption id="attachment_111771" align="alignright" width="150"]Michael Lombardi Michael Lombardi[/caption] NFL analyst Mike Lombardi, making his weekly appearance with Kirk & Callahan, predicted Tom Brady would have a good day Sunday in his return to the Patriots but warned against taking the Browns lightly. To hear the interview, go to the Kirk & Callahan audio on demand page. With Brady returning from his Deflategate suspension, many are suggesting this will lead to a big day for the New England offense. "I think he'll play well. I really think Tommy will play good," Lombardi said. "I don't know if he'll go nuts. I think he'll just play good. I don't think he'll try to overextend himself and put himself in a dangerous position where he can turn the ball over. Look, the only way they lose the game is if they lose the game turning the ball over. I think he'll be careful and he'll play under control." The Browns come in at 0-4 and are starting their third quarterback, rookie Cody Kessler, following injuries to Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown in the season's first two weeks. "I think they're a 45-minute team," Lombardi said of Cleveland. "I don't have power rankings, I break teams down [by] the amount of minutes they play really good football and then they kind of fall apart. And I think the Browns are about a 45-minute team. "They run the ball. They have two running backs on the team that average over six yards a carry [Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson]. So they can run the football, they're running game is really good. They're able to make some plays offensively, [Terrelle] Pryor's been outstanding. Cody Kessler, I think what you'll see out of him is he's playing his third game, he's not a big man, he wears down, his arm strength isn't great, he can't really throw the ball down the field. I think this is a good game for the Patriots to prove that their defense can take a step up. "Offensively [for the Patriots], look, they've played against this scheme a long time, going back to Dick LeBeau in Pittsburgh, and Brady knows it well, Josh McDaniels knows it well. They'll move the ball on them. And I think the key is going to come down to the red zone, getting it in there. "But this is not a game where you can take this opponent lightly, because as you said, they clearly could have beaten Miami. Washington's defense isn't very good, but [the Browns] moved the ball effortlessly on Washington, they just couldn't finish drives. I think it will be a game where they'll play hard and the Patriots are going to have to beat them." Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots. On the Patriots' 16-0 loss to the Bills: "I was disappointed defensively. I think offensively, I think everybody anticipated that Jimmy [Garoppolo] was going to be able to play. I think there was a part there where I think it was a little bit disappointing. But it was the total team, to me, when you looked at it. I understand, look, you're playing Buffalo, you've beaten this team a lot, you've dominated the series. But when Buffalo scored the opening touchdown, it's the Mike Tyson line: 'Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.' Well, they got punched in the mouth. And I was disappointed in the defense's response to that. They struggled to get off the field, they couldn't get any three-and-outs. And look, this has been a problem for the defense all season: When teams get the ball in the red zone, you might as well just give them seven points. The red zone defense has not been very good. The third-down defense has not been very good. And I know it drives Coach [Bill Belichick] crazy, because no one spends more time on third down and red zone than the Patriots do. And I think what you saw when he threw the Surface tablet away is they probably practiced that play, and they just didn't execute it. And nothing drives a coach crazier than when that happens, when they took the linebacker into the flat route for [LeSean] McCoy, it drives you crazy. So it's a bad game, but it's a good week for the coaches, because now you have everybody's attention." On how Bill Belichick would handle the Odell Beckham situation with the Giants: "To me, there's a line we all agree on in our program [and it] is: 'You're either coaching it or allowing it to happen.' There's two kinds of coaches in the NFL -- a head coach like Belichick, or a guy who's in charge of the assistants. You have to make a decision what do you want to be. As a head coach, you take on Beckham, you never avoid confrontation. There's no sense in suspending Beckham, that doesn't do any good. Bench him. Let him stand next to you. Let him watch the game. Take action on him. Don't let him get away with his antics. Because your letting him get away with it is a reflection on you. [Ben] McAdoo needs to step up and say, 'OK, you want to be that way? You're not playing this series. You're out.' "